30 Jul 2011

£1b being returned to BSkyB shareholders

9:47 am on 30 July 2011

Satellite broadcaster BSkyB is returning £1 billion to shareholders angered by a recent fall in share prices.

Its shares have fallen sharply in the past month after News Corporation abandoned its bid for BSkyB amid the phone-hacking scandal in Britain.

The company said it gained 426,000 customers over the past year to a total of 10,294,000 subscribers.

The BBC reports operating profits, excluding earnings from non-core activities such as investments, rose 23% to £1.07 billion, while pre-tax profits fell 15% to £1.01 billion.

On Thursday, BSkyB's board confirmed that James Murdoch would stay on as company chairman, despite the phone-hacking scandal at News International.

BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch told BBC News he did not think Sky's broadcasting licence was at risk.

BSkyB is raising its dividend 20% to 23.28 pence per share and announced a £750 million share buyback.

The value of the shares has fallen 15% in the past month.